Jeremiah 40: Jeremiah Released, Gedaliah Threatened

(16 verses, 3:45 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • This chapter is a fuller explanation of the events recorded in II Kings 25:22-26, which is an accounting of Jeremiah’s interaction with Gedaliah, the Babylonian governor of Judea.


  • vv. 1-6: Jeremiah is released from captivity and allowed to return to Judea.
  • vv. 7-12: Gedaliah begins his term as governor and gives instructions to the poor Judeans who remained in the land after the deportation of the wealthy and skilled worker Judeans
  • vv. 13-16: A plot to kill Gedaliah is revealed.


  • This section of Jeremiah is part of a transition into further prophecy, which will begin after the historical narrative material found in chapters 40 and 41.
  • It is noteworthy to see that the Chaldean guard, charged with carrying Jeremiah and other Judeans into captivity, is familiar with the prophecies concerning Jerusalem’s fall. This shows that the Lord’s Word is rarely spoken in a context in which only His people hear it. Even more amazingly, the Chaldean guard, Nebuzaradan, seems to believe this word. It is as St. Paul says in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” The Lord’s Word creates faith, quite apart from our ethnic heritage or any other merit in us.
  • Gedaliah’s reign seems to be a friendly one toward his Judean subjects. It appears that the harvest is plentiful at this point, most likely due to the sheer number of people who were carried away into captivity.
  • Johanan and those charged with occupying Judea militarily catch wind that Baalis, the King of the Ammonites, seeks to assinate Gedaliah. Instead of taking this warning seriously, Gedaliah dismisses it as nonsense. Gedaliah, however, was probably unaware of the tension that existed historically between the Judeans and the Ammonites from at least the time of the judges.


  • Prayer: O Lord, grant us leaders who are inclined to do Your will, who will punish the wicked and reward those who do what is right, that we would lead quiet and peaceable lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

-Rev. Jordan McKinley, pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church, Vallonia, IN

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